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Offline Shadoweagle

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Dual Magic
« on: December 16, 2006, 08:30:31 AM »
Manfred posted a thought in his random idea dump about how magic could not be cast by one person - it requires two people linked. From that, I expanded my thoughts to it:

I like the idea of magic requiring two people. As a matter of fact, I think a whole new arrangement of magic could be made from that thought.

Imagine that magic requires two people, however they don't have to be of the same school of magic. Examples!

A Clerical mage merges power with an Elemental Fire mage. Using this combination, they are able to cauterise wounds. Now, two clerics together couldn't do that as they don't have the power of heat, and two fire mages together couldn't do that, as without the healing direction of the cleric magic, their flames would be uncontrollable and do more damage.

A guild dedicated to building constructs could be made, and filled with earth and spirit mages who link to give spirit and life to lumps of cold earth. Perhaps somewhere, Spirit and fire mages have learned the secret of how to create fire elementals.

Now, I imagine that each school will be taught different views and values. It would be interesting to see a death mage try to convince a spirit mage to merge powers and make the undead.

A Fire and Water mage creating flames which give frostbite instead of burns, or form liquid fire.


And now I see an acadamy of magic; The first five years are spent learning the chosen school with people of your same talents. The next three years are spent mingling with those of the other schools, learning how to combine their powers to make the most out of them. And imagine the inventive ways your PC's could use combinations of magic to get out of or into situations.
 - As a matter of fact, you could begin your roleplay with the PC's starting as first-year academics in this place. Have them not know of each other, and not know much about how the magic works. Have the roleplay span over the eight years of their studies (with perhaps a few side-plots) and then into the real world. I can see how those studying death-magic would stay to themselves, bieng the 'scheming, prank-playing and potentially dangerous' bunch of the school.

Anyways. The first hurdle would be to decide which schools of magic were available. Another hurdle would be to actually write out a whole bunch of spells and such which two linked people can cast. Or perhaps write out some common/base spells, but then leave the whole school open for PC's to try out - the GM can decide whether the spell would work or not.
 A third hurdle would be to write out Different schools attitudes, religions, mannerisms and social standing with the other schools. I can see that the most powerful and awkward combinations would be between two casts who are naturally at opposite ends (such as life and death, body and mind, fire and water)


Good fun!


After that, myself and Manfred spoke in chat about this topic, expanding it further:

Quote
[manfred] 3:16 am: So, spellcasting has become a lot more social.
[Shadoweagle] 3:16 am: Indeed!
[Shadoweagle] 3:16 am: It would be slightly more common than normal, but I imagine seeing a duo of stoic, robed people walking in a room would
still cause a slight hush in the crowd
[Shadoweagle] 3:17 am: Seeing just one walk in wouldn't have quite the same effect, though
[manfred] 3:17 am: Note that once the wizards under attack are separated, they are essentially helpless (magically, at least).
[Shadoweagle] 3:17 am: Ah, another question though: Can there be 3 people in a single spell? or more? Can you make spells using many of the
schools?
[manfred] 3:18 am: Hence, there will quite a few spells that separate wizards from each other - and special attack methods.
[Shadoweagle] 3:18 am: Aye. Perhaps they need to be within a certain range? or touching?

I imagine that once they are within several feet, they will feel their minds 'linking'. It would be one way for one wizard to recognise another, too; get
close enough and they can feel the connection
[manfred] 3:19 am: While it isn't expressly said in that one sentence      it is definitely possible to expand it further. So collective casting.
[Shadoweagle] 3:19 am: Another question: Can one more powerful wizard draw the other wizards power from them against their will?
Perhaps there are ways to block such a thing, but also ways to break that block
[manfred] 3:20 am: (Hmmm... got a possible splitting idea... but first yours.)
[manfred] 3:21 am: In K10, the "Magic Skill" is there for gathering and keeping magic under control.
[Shadoweagle] 3:21 am: Oh - the more there are, the more difficult it is to hold the link and cast properly?
I can see a historic note detailing that once, the greatest of all schools got together to cast X spell to do Y reaction. It failed and a catastrophic
event happend because of it. As such, having more than Z amount of wizards trying to cast a spell is outlawed?
[Shadoweagle] 3:21 am: I see
[manfred] 3:22 am: So why not, a magic user could be drained of their power - and have the means to stop it.
[Shadoweagle] 3:22 am: Mmm hmm
[Shadoweagle] 3:23 am: And then there would be, of course, mental practices, and enchanted items to increase one's ability in such a thing.
[manfred] 3:23 am: Tuning several minds into a single delicate supernatural act together, that has to be diffilcut.
[manfred] 3:23 am: (It gives more power, so it makes sense from the 'balance' point of view as well.)
[Shadoweagle] 3:24 am: Aye. Would take strict discipline and mental training (One year in the acadamy is dedicated entirely to this, perhaps). If
someone thinks of even a slightly different action than what the other is, the results could be unforseen
[manfred] 3:24 am: As for a law - not a problem.
[manfred] 3:25 am: You would see a lot of people playing mind ball, trying to keep the ball moving in a perfect trajectory, etc.
[Shadoweagle] 3:25 am: Mind ball     
[manfred] 3:26 am: Yes!
[manfred] 3:26 am: Now for the possible split...
[Shadoweagle] 3:26 am: And as for a roleplaying plot option, I can easily see a prophecy of "One who is complete in himself" ; who doesn't require a
second person to cast spells
[Shadoweagle] 3:26 am: Yes? The split?
[manfred] 3:26 am: (warning: philosophical overload possible)
Shadoweagle presses the 'flush' button on his brain.
[manfred] 3:28 am: Controlled magic is 'polar', ie it requires, say, a positive and negative pole of _____ to cast a spell. As humans are not able to
create both poles at once, you need two people for magic.
[Shadoweagle] 3:28 am: (And may I suggest a 'forbidden' or 'secret' school(s) of magic, not taught in the acadamies?)
[manfred] 3:28 am: (Always.)
[Shadoweagle] 3:29 am: I follow you so far     
[Shadoweagle] 3:29 am: Magnets, they are!
[manfred] 3:29 am: Effects:
[manfred] 3:29 am: (yes, magnets)
[manfred] 3:29 am: You can only cast in pairs - so no threesome casting, only 4, 6. etc.
[Shadoweagle] 3:30 am: (And a possible tangent from the magnet idea? People of the same 'poles' are able to block each others abilities, perhaps?)
[Shadoweagle] 3:30 am: Mmm hmm
[manfred] 3:30 am: You could create items that allow you to cast spells - they would have one pole, you'd assume another.
[manfred] 3:30 am: Split 2:
[Shadoweagle] 3:31 am: Sounds good to me so far
[Shadoweagle] 3:31 am: Such items would be rare and difficult to make, however.
[manfred] 3:31 am: You can assume any pole you want < - > you have only one pole predestined.
[Shadoweagle] 3:31 am: Hmm
[manfred] 3:31 am: Yes, definitely.
[manfred] 3:32 am: (Anyway, they could only help you with your own school of magic.)
[manfred] 3:33 am: You can hang any number of weird theories on this one... mmm, much to my liking.     
[Shadoweagle] 3:33 am: Considering both sides... --> One pole predestined could cause a further rift between spellcasters. Something else to
separate them from each other.
Any pole you want would certainly make things easier, however, when it comes to things like character creation and spellcaster interaction.
[manfred] 3:34 am: Yes, it would make things easier...
[manfred] 3:34 am: ...oh, idea: a curse that forces on you one pole - oh, that would be annoying.
[Shadoweagle] 3:34 am: But the easy road isn't always the best.

I can see those who go to the acadamy would be tested in their first year and branded on the back of their hand or something which pole they are.
Perhaps a tattoo of some sort of symbol.
[Shadoweagle] 3:35 am: oop
[Shadoweagle] 3:35 am: What it
[Shadoweagle] 3:35 am: what if: For roleplaying purposes there were ways of changing the poles around (difficult or costly. Perhaps you can buy it
like you buy ressurection from a church) That means that if the PCs want to change who they interact spells with, they can do so by changing their
poles
[manfred] 3:36 am: OK, so third option: it is hard to change poles.
[Shadoweagle] 3:36 am: Mmm.
[Shadoweagle] 3:37 am: I mean, you can change the polarity of a magnet, can you not?
[manfred] 3:37 am: Actually, if you become used to a certain pole, you would have a hard time to change it.
[Shadoweagle] 3:37 am: Hmm... you can also negate magnetism altogether...! If you are negated of magic, you have to go back to the
acadamy/church whatever to get your polarity back
[manfred] 3:37 am: Plus, that special item we mentioned before can have only one pole.
[Shadoweagle] 3:37 am: Aye. illness, weakness in spells and such
[Shadoweagle] 3:37 am: Aye
[manfred] 3:37 am: Another curse.
[Shadoweagle] 3:38 am: Yer
[manfred] 3:38 am: Or magical accident.     
[manfred] 3:38 am: So 'Polar Magic'.
[Shadoweagle] 3:38 am: Indeed. A failed spell has an 'x' chance of negating your magic
[manfred] 3:39 am: (Doesn't even matter, if it is the true background of magical powers - it is enough that people believe it.)
[Shadoweagle] 3:39 am: (Side note: Did you know that once every several hundred years or so, the earth suddenly changes polarity? Nearly
instantly and without warning, North suddenly becomes south and the other way around!)
[manfred] 3:39 am: (Heard about it, didn't remember the frequency.)
[Shadoweagle] 3:40 am: Hmm? I meant that a 'fizzled' magic spell might disrupt your polarity, making you nuetral until you can recharge
[manfred] 3:40 am: (Even that you can hang on - the regular Days Of Dread, when all magic goes crazy.)
[Shadoweagle] 3:41 am: (Oh yes      Legends, centuries ago when magic went insane, and demons broke out of rifts to try and destroy the earth!     
 )
[manfred] 3:41 am: Oh, wait: a regular person coming to study magic would have no pole to speak of - it has to learn to "invoke" it.
[manfred] 3:42 am: So you can choose to learn a pole, loose it, and learn it again - but it could take a hell lot of time!
[Shadoweagle] 3:42 am: Hm, true.

Another split though: Perhaps a magic user is born with a certain 'base polarity'. One which they are stronger in.
[manfred] 3:42 am: No split there - a talent for a certain pole could be a trait.
[Shadoweagle] 3:43 am: Ah, indeed!
[manfred] 3:43 am: 'gift' or 'boon' or whatever.
[manfred] 3:43 am: That might be a skill in itself...
[Shadoweagle] 3:43 am: And perhaps certain schools of magic are 'drawn' to certain poles more-so than others? Nature might be naturally positive
(So it gets a bonus if the caster is of positive polarity) and then death might be negative. Some may be nuetral!
[manfred] 3:44 am: ...having separate skills/potentials in both poles.
[Shadoweagle] 3:44 am: Mmm. That way it will be more than just a small 'quirk' if someone chooses which polarity they are better in
[manfred] 3:45 am: You would cast faster/better in whatever way with a higher skill you specialise - or you could keep it balanced.
[manfred] 3:45 am: Why choosing? Why not just rolling at character creation?
[manfred] 3:45 am: (Besides it needs not be a massive bonus.)
[Shadoweagle] 3:45 am: Another question: Can you learn more than one school of magic? Perhaps everyone has a 'primary' school and a
'secondary' school?
[Shadoweagle] 3:45 am: Even better!
[manfred] 3:46 am: Hmmm...
[Shadoweagle] 3:46 am: I don't think it would be good for anyone to have more than 2 schools though. I'd say either 1 school or 2 schools
manfred] 3:47 am: ...learning question aside, if someone learns another school he can combine with his own for a very useful effect, in effect he can
ignore the spellcaster of that school. No need for them.
[manfred] 3:48 am: So I would say there would be a strong peer pressure to stick to one school only.
[manfred] 3:48 am: *spellcasters*
[Shadoweagle] 3:48 am: As in, can he cast spells without a second?
[manfred] 3:49 am: No...
[manfred] 3:49 am: ...without a wizard of that second school.
[Shadoweagle] 3:49 am: Ah!
[Shadoweagle] 3:49 am: So any wizard will do!
[manfred] 3:50 am: Possibly.
[Shadoweagle] 3:50 am: I'd say yes if we go with a 'primary/secondary' way of doing it, because since the secondary skill will never be as high as
the primary, the effects he can get can never be as good as with casting spells linked with a caster of that secondary skill
[manfred] 3:50 am: So that's why a school - more of a guild - will guard it's secrets carefully.
[Shadoweagle] 3:51 am: bah!
[Shadoweagle] 3:51 am: it's nearly 4am - I gotta get to bed
[Shadoweagle] 3:51 am: Thanks for the brainstorm, Manfred - I haven't had a good one of those since 2005, I think!
[manfred] 3:51 am: Well, if there is some profitable combination, and someone gets them both, then one guild will definitely loose the profit.
[manfred] 3:51 am:     
[manfred] 3:52 am: Glad to be of service!

Anyway, this is what we've gleaned from this thought so far, and if anyone would like to contribute their thoughts, ideas and comments they would be more than welcome. Even if you just suggest an interesting spell which may be cast by using different schools of magic.


Random thoughts:

 - What schools of magic should there be?
Possible schools:
Fire
Water (ice?)
Air
Earth
Mind
Body
Spirit
Life (clerical?)
Nature (Druidic?)
Death (necromancy?)
Illusion

 - Demeanor/Manner of different schools?
I can see fire mages as bieng fast, impulsive, almost thoughtless. Quick to anger etc...
Spirit would be cryptic, mystic and downright confusing at times. Insightful, slow and thoughtful in actions etc...

 - I like the poetic balance behind the fact that Many skills in necromancy would need a clerical or spiritual mage linked to be effective; A willing cleric would be hard for a death mage to find. Can you see any other parallels with different schools?

 - Perhaps a nasty practice would be more powerful death mages kidnapping weak clerical mages and leeching their powers to their own end.

 - Possible spells?
Druid/Fire or Druid/Body: Haste animal?
Druid/Ice or Druid/Body: Slow animal?
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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Dual Magic
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2006, 08:35:36 PM »
Something that occured to me and was encouraged by those in chat was the idea of inborn polarities. I read about it in the brainstorm up top, but it makes even more sense if taken to the next level: the sexes have different polarities. Male and female polarities must be mixed to produce the proper blending of energy to make a spell work. So wizards would go around in pairs of Male and Female, with perhaps your partner becoming your life-partner as well. Married couples do begin to become similar, and so the loving married couple of wizards might be the most adept at focusing their abilities.

Heck, you wouldn't even need to have a Yin-Yang set polarity for each sex. Each person can have either polarity, but only opposite sexes and polarities work to bring things together.

Thoughts?
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Dual Magic
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2006, 12:55:30 PM »
This is teh MAGIC! This is what we have sorely missed since v2.0!

d**n fine post SE, and the first of the Citadel magic posts to ever have made me reconsider the Coldforged way of things. The school idea made think of Hogwarts, though ;)

Problem:
- Mages will be far less lucrative to play this way.

Solution proposition:
- Allowing minor spells to be cast solo, as if single mages could only control small streams of mana at a time
- Allowing major spells to be cast solo, but at great risk of being devoured or destroyed by out of control magic. Several mages are required to control the flow of the mana current.

The Polar idea:
- The Polar idea seemed a little dry and clinical, but perfectly logical.
- It follows logically from the "pairs" idea (only cast in 2s: 2-4-6-8 etc) that dispelling magic could be performed by hostile mages... They need only add their own "pole" to the casting, and it would all come tumbling down. On battlefields this would invoke the necessity for guardians protecting the mages, hindering secret agent mages from trying to disrupt the casting.
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Online Pariah

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Re: Dual Magic
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2006, 09:18:48 PM »
**Warning: Mathmatics involved.**

A thought on the power of spells X number of individuals could cast.  We'll say that there are 4 spell levels here, 0 lvl (easy single person), 1 lvl (normally useful magic), 2 lvl (more powerful spell).  It takes 2 to the power of the spell's level number of people to cast a spell, and every power of 2 beyond that many boosts a simpler spells power a good chunk.

So that 0 lvel spell takes 2^0, or 1 person, and a 4th lvl spell is 2^4, or 16 people.  This progression is explained really well by these polarities, especially when you look at bits and bytes and math homework on logarithms.

If any of you didn't get that, get Ria to set me on fire or something, she seems to enjoy it way too much, and I don't think she's been able to for a good 2 months now.
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Dual Magic
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2006, 09:54:59 PM »
Fire's just for leet.  If I feel the need to hurt you for the math, I'll bludgeon you.

This is a kind of fun idea.  I think I'd just use it for a particular sect of magic, maybe in a land far away.  This lets me use it as a fairly exotic system without forcing PCs away from casters.  If this is the way that all magic works in the world, then it would make it very hard for players to use.  (Except maybe in campaigns where the whole point was getting a group of casters together in order to cast some massive spell, or campaigns in which you had two players wanting to play casters.)

I find the idea of having a group of people joining forces to cast a major spell very attractive.  Of course, being me, I'm sure that my representation of it would get very... odd.

Hmm... I wonder how hard it would be to justify a group mind effect, either as a result of all of them synchronizing to cast, or maybe the reason they do it that way.  It would be unnerving, to say the least.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Dual Magic
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2006, 06:02:54 AM »
If any of you didn't get that, get Ria to set me on fire or something, she seems to enjoy it way too much, and I don't think she's been able to for a good 2 months now.
Oh, you'd be surprised at the body count, for her actions are both overt and covert. =P

As for this post... Shadoweagle, or any others, do you have any ideas for how to make this playable AND enjoyable for the PC?
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Dual Magic
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2006, 06:29:45 AM »
Hmm...

Well, firstly this would probably be better suited for larger groups, so there can be several mages. Additionally, I think polarities should be changeable (Perhaps special mage-shops in town can change someone's polarity) or not present at all if it were to become something players could do, otherwise it would be quite difficult to get a diverse group of casters.

Alternatively, it could be used as part of a high magic world, where all the PCs could be proficient in one school of magic, even if only having a small ability of it unless they chose to be a 'mage' class, which would unlock the higher levels of magic.
So a warrior might have two points in fire magic as their primary class, and one point in air as their secondary class, and still get all the warrior bonuses, whereas a mage may have ten points in earth and six points in death, plus get extra mana or magic bonuses since they are of a mage class. So then, the two of these may be able to cast low-to-mid level spells of Fire/death, Fire/earth, Air/death and Air/earth. Perhaps using the average of the two skills to judge the highest 'skill' of casting they can do. So a spell of Fire/Earth(2/10) can cast up to level 6 fire/earth spells.
Going on further from that thought: Perhaps everyone is born with two inbuilt 'elements' or 'schools' of magic, and all that studying to be a mage does is increase the base skill of the magic to a higher level. Obviously the more fighting/melee/physical minded classes would get less base points to start with.
So...
I figure points may be split into a maximum of two schools, primary and secondary. The secondary school cannot be more than 75% of the skill in the primary.
Berserker: 1 point?
Fighter: 3 points
monk: 4 points
ranger: 4 points
rogue: 5 points
Paladin: 6 points (One skill must be spirit or life?)
bard: 8 points (plus access to a musical school of magic...? Sonic magic, maybe?)
Druid: 8 points (Primary magic skill must be nature?)
Cleric: 12 points (One skill must be spirit or life?)
Mage: 16 points


Furthermore, perhaps the lower magic-attuned classes (perhaps rogue or paladin downwards) would not know of their magical attunement, and so are locked from it until they level up? Paladin, lvl 3. Ranger + Monk, lvl 4. Fighter, lvl 6, Barbarian, lvl 8.

 Thoughts?
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Dual Magic
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2006, 09:12:44 AM »
Hell, while i'm at it, why not keep going? Why not take the opportunity to recreate races, as well? And perhaps certain races have bonuses and affinities to certain schools of magic? Elves may be more attuned to nature, spirit and air, and have weaknesses in earth, mind and fire. Gnomes may get bonuses with fire, body and death, and be weaker in life, spirit and air. Dwarves would probably get earth, fire and body at the loss of nature, water and illusion. So on and so forth it goes! And the citadel has plenty of remade races - I remember Captainpenguin used to do a fair few of them - why not take the opportunity to remake the 'classical' races into something more original?

Hehe, sorry, i'm tired: I dream of greater things than I should when I'm tired :D Though wouldn't it be nice to remake an entire classical fantasy world?

Ooh - And Ouzquin Dremorix can have earth, air and illusion at the cost of water, life and mind.  :bat:
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Re: Dual Magic
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2006, 03:18:25 PM »
And Customise It To The Death.

Yes, there are plenty of paths to take with these magic, so anyone can mix a cocktail of their own choosing. Let's see:
(poles)
 - the question of whether the 'poles' are pre-determined for a person, or can be changed
 - if permanent, there can be a lasting distinction between certain groups of people - gender even. (Insert any number of butt jokes about those freaks that have their pole 'the other way around'.)
 - or, the 'pole' of a person is randomly determined or chosen by a person in the course of her studies of magic.
 - if it can be changed, how easy is it? And what impact will a change of the pole have on the casting skill of the adept? Is it just something to be determined at each spell anew; or are arduous exercises, or special rituals/potions needed to cause a change? Or can the caster be 'neutered' (voluntarily or not), and that choose anew? In short, is the pole just the switch you turn around as desired, or the very basis of the power, the potential you grow in yourself, much like that magnet example? At the very least, there has to be a little time spent on the change (roll for success in a tight situation).
 - how will wizards of opposite/same poles react on each other? Will there be attraction, or repulsion? Will they feel each other (and will they feel a particular pole easier)?

(availability)
 - may be 'just another magical tradition'
 - may be the only option to use magic for a whole setting, or a particular race (I like this one better)
 - oh, right, it may be also a cultural thing

---

If the Polar magic seems a little clinical, remember the concepts of yin and yang and all the philosophical trappings attached to them - you can smuggle them here easily. If compared to other ways to magic, it can be simply claimed that all of them do it already, and create the poles in one or other way.

---

Then is there the question of power... if wizards are able to cast spells on their own, this whole concept turns just into a power upgrade if you have more wizards. For sure I would allow cantrips. But for all spells must be both poles present, and the more power is between them, the more danger for the magus maintaining the poles in his body. Cantrips would itch, weak spells mean pain, and anything more would create larger damage until some spectacular death slays you - like burning from the inside of your frozen skin.

The power to disrupt the casting of others, however, can definitely belong to every magic-user.

---

Playability
If you want system, you will get system.  :twisted:

Myself, I like point-based games where you compose your character's powers of skills - which would go well with this one. I see two basic options for a fast play:
 - A set low diffilcuty for each spell, where _both_ casters have to have at least this required level of skill, or they can't participate. Most spells would be 'low-level' anyway, but for real stuff you need real men, I mean, wizards. :)
 - For each spell a set high diffilcuty, where both casters add their skills together, and make one roll for success. The stronger caster can drag the weaker along.

Then there is the important question of fun. Notice that you either provide a large list of possible combined effects, or supply a few and let the players play (danger! :) ). You could easily go here for a more freeform/storytelling approach, creating effects based on their impact on the world, and the like. Can be lots of fun, but GM beware.
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Dual Magic
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2006, 04:39:45 AM »
This idea seems fairly complete to me. I have read it. Some things I live a lot, some things not at all. I will abide by the GM commandment: Thou shalt pick and choose!

When I use parts of this, I will not use it all. I do however think the ideas are nice and the thread is ready for transition. I will wait another week or so. We will have to wait and see if people wants to develop it further.
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